68% turnout in 3rd phase of Chhattisgarh panchayat polls

Around 68 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the third phase of the panchayat polls held in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday, even as Naxals disrupted the poll process by looting ballot boxes in the Maoist-hit Kondagaon district.

PTI| Updated: Feb 04, 2015, 22:33 PM IST

Raipur: Around 68 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the third phase of the panchayat polls held in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday, even as Naxals disrupted the poll process by looting ballot boxes in the Maoist-hit Kondagaon district.

"Average 68 per cent voters' turnout was recorded in the third phase of panchayat polls held in 26 districts of Chhattisgarh," State Election Commissioner P C Dalei told reporters here this evening.

As per the statistics, the highest?turnout of 84 per cent?was recorded?in Surguja and Dhamtari districts, followed by Balrampur and Rajnandgaon (82 per cent), Janjgir-Champa (80 per cent), while the Naxal-hit Bijapur witnessed the lowest turnout of 15 per cent.

Besides, 78 per cent voters' exercised their franchise in Korba, Durg and Bilaspur districts, while 76 per cent in Raipur.

The insurgency-hit Bastanar, Lohandiguda and Darbha development blocks of Bastar district, Narayanpur and Orchha blocks of Narayanpur district, Durgukondal and Bhanupratappur blocks of Kanker district, Kuwakonda block of Dantewada district, Konta block of Sukma district and Bhopalpattanam and Usoor blocks of Bijapur district witnessed polling from 6.45 am till 2 pm, while in the remaining areas it took place between 7 am and 3 pm, he said.

"Barring the incidents of looting of polling material, including ballot boxes, at two polling booths in the Maoist- hit Kondagaon district's polling booth number 64 and 65, the election remained peaceful. No harm to polling staff and security personnel was reported in these incidents," Dalei said.

Besides, polling also did not take place in booth number 2 of Kota block of Bilaspur district due some irregularities in ballot papers, he said. "Polls would be held once again at these three polling booths," he added.